Posted by on 19 February 2019

Apprenticeship Ambassador Network interview with Jonathan Cresswell, Learning Development and Apprenticeship Manager, at the University of Exeter

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO EMPLOY AN APPRENTICE/ APPRENTICES?

The University has employed apprentices for over 6 years now, and since the introduction of the levy in May 2017 we have enrolled over 107 apprentices from new and existing staff.

By the very nature of our organisation, we promote personal and professional development, and as such have included apprenticeships as part of our HR strategy.

Hiring and supporting apprentices is no more difficult than hiring other staff, and you get support from training providers who assist with shortlisting and interviews which makes the job easier.  If you are a levy-paying organisation then you should definitely consider apprenticeships.

DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE/ HIGHLIGHT

We have had such a positive experience from employing apprentices, and enrolling some of our current staff on an apprenticeship.  We now have 98 apprentices employed (levels 2 to 7) across Devon and Cornwall in Agriculture, Business & Administration, Catering & Hospitality, Childcare & Education, Construction, Digital, Engineering & Manufacturing, and Health & Science.

The University is proud to support apprenticeships and believe that apprenticeships will help to develop talent in the South West. Working with quality local training providers ensures that our apprentices are of the highest calibre and helps to address social mobility and skills shortages.

DESCRIBE THE BENEFITS OF APPRENTICES IN YOUR BUSINESS

Apprenticeships bring benefits to both the apprentice and the University as an employer.  An apprentice will gain valuable up-to-date technical knowledge, develop transferable skills and will be able to use their new skills in support of their current role.

For the University, an Apprenticeship is an effective means of developing and up-skilling our new and existing staff, improving overall productivity, and utilising the apprenticeship levy will reduce training costs to our colleges and services.  Apprenticeships by their very nature embrace a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

 

WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF OFFERING AN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME OVER OTHER TRAINING OR EDUCATION?

Apprenticeships:

  • Help to up-skill/Build skills capacity of our workforce.
  • Support continuous development.
  • Promote career pathways and choices for those entering and in employment.
  • Bring fresh perspectives and new ideas on projects.
  • Training is funded through our Apprenticeships Levy.
  • Allow us to invest in trades and ensure skills are passed on and not lost.
  • Give line managers the opportunity to develop their own mentoring skills.
  • Have a positive impact on the rest of the workforce.
  • Reduce recruitment costs.
  • Reduce staff turnover.
  • Enhance the diversity and social mobility of our workforce.
  • Demonstrate we are investing in our new and existing staff.
  • Have excellent support for quality training providers.
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